About one of our closest stars in orbit is a planet that is more than three times larger than Earth, the so-called super earth.
An illustration of how a planet that spins around Barnard's star may look like.
The recently discovered planet revolves around Barnard's star, which is in the light of six solar years from the socket's galactic view. It is the second closest planet to be discovered.
The celestial body is described as frozen and slightly illuminated and bypasses the star in 233 days. Barnard's star is a star of a red dwarf, and is estimated to be nearly twice as old as the sun. Therefore, its light is much weaker, which has made it harder for the planet to be discovered.
It also means that it gains about two percent of such a large amount of energy from its star as the Earth gets from the sun. Therefore, the surface temperature is projected to be minus 170 degrees Celsius.
– It is definitely not in the living area, there is no liquid water. If it is a bit of water or gas, it's probably in a stable shape, so the reason why we call the planet is frozen, said one of the discovery researchers at Ignasi Rib's IEEC Space Center in Spain.
The planet is 3.2 times that of the earth, but the amount of mass is difficult to determine.
"We have seen the planet with this rock mass, which means it may look like a hard surface, possibly with a high atmosphere or frozen layers," says Ribas.
– Or it may be what we call mini-Neptune, the gas giants of our solar system's mitigated options.
The only known planet is closer to us than Proxima b, which lies in four light years in the Alpha Centauri star system.